2015 Reading List
Note: The books are listed in order, in the month I've completed them. This list does not include any books I start but decide not to finish.
- Your Brain: The Missing Manual by Matthew MacDonald
Good overview of the brain. However, I wish there were more actionable items. Would Recommend to someone who hasn't read much about the subject before.
- Transform your Habits by James Clear
Very short book (45 pages) but packed with a solid approach on developing new habits. Would recommend.
- Hacking Work: Breaking Stupid Rules for Smart Results by Bill Jensen and Josh Klein
Reading this book made me realize how fortunate I've been to both take hacking work as a default approach and had great managers that provide air cover. I've written a more detailed review of the book. Would recommend.
- How to Stop Sucking and Be Awesome Instead by Jeff Atwood
One of those blog-posts-as-book. It's ok. If you like Atwood and want a curated set of his blog posts loosely stitched around a theme then this is a good purchase. Otherwise, skip it.
- Maximize Your Potential: Grow Your Expertise, Take Bold Risks, and Build an Incredible Career edited by Jocelyn Glei
A charming collection of essays and Q&A's on a variety of personal development topics. The material was good overall. However, it did turn a little self-help overindulgent in the last chapter. Read it if you're intrigued by the index.
- The End of Illness by Dr. David Agus
A system view of health and wellness. Includes delving into proteomics but also inflammation, vitamins and supplements, and where he'd like to see health practitioners going. A couple blithe, toss-away comments (eg, "we may only use a small fraction of our brain") but overall a decent and interesting read. I appreciate any author that takes a system-based view of their subject and explores the interrelations.
- The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks
Clinical notes from a neurologist. Very well-written and engaging even for a layperson like me. Also, this is probably the scariest book I've ever read. A stark reminder of what can happen to us when our brain betrays us. But also a collection of vignettes on what it means to be human. Would recommend unless prone to hypochondria.
- Pegasus Bridge by Stephen Ambrose
A short, but enjoyable read. This book focuses on the exploits of a gliderborn company, the first to engage the Germans on French soil on the morning of D-Day, as they capture two strategic bridges behind the Normandy coast. Mr. Ambrose, in his excellent narrative, chronicles the training leading up to the operation, the planning, the execution, and the days, weeks, and years after.
- Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind edited by Jocelyn Glei
Another compilation of essays and Q&A's by the folks at 99U. I found this one more enjoyable than Maximize Your Potential. Both were great reads, though. This one had some very actional content on how to consistently deliver. The focus is on people in creative roles, which I think us developers fit into on some level.
- The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
The earliest memories I have of reading together with my dad involve The Hobbit and C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia. I like to come back and read both The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring periodically. It's a wonderfully nostalgic experience.
- Poor Miss Finch by Wilkie Collins
Wilkie Collins is my wife's favorite author but I've neglected him until now. I love the narrative style in this book. It's also intereresting to see the lead women in the book developed as strong and independent; it feels refreshingly non-Victorian.
- The Dead Alive by Wilkie Collins
Based on a true story! This is a very short story and lacking in character development, but an interesting read nonetheless.
- Poke the Box by Seth Godin
This is supposed to be some encouragement, I think, to go ship stuff. The advice is random, rambling, paper-thin and generally unhelpful.
- Terms of Enlistment by Marko Kloos
The first book in his Frontlines series. Ragged future. Marines in space. A light and engaging read. Deals with a soldier's choices as his goverment tasks him with keeping the peace at home and fighting the other faction abroad. I found the narrative to be nicely paced.
- Lines of Departure by Marko Kloos
The second book in the Frontlines series. I enjoyed the first one enough to want to delve right into the second book.
- The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
Another series I periodically come back to. This is the first book in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I hear they even made a movie about the series!
- Lucky Thirteen by Marko Kloos
A short story so brief that I'm torn on listing it here. A brief vignette of character development sandwiched between Terms of Enlistment and Lines of Departure.
- Measures of Absolution by Marko Kloos
A novella from the Frontlines universe that offers an alternate view around a portion of the first book. Engaging and interesting.
- Hard Drop by Will van der Vaart
I didn't enjoy this book but didn't hate it enough to stop reading it. Novel that follows a special ops group as a mission on a rebel-controlled planet goes to hell from the start.
- The Law and the Lady by Wilkie Collins
This novel was first published in serial form in a periodical. There was a bit of a dust-up between Mr. Collins and the publisher when they took it upon themselves to edit a bit of the story, in direct violation of the publishing agreement.
Mr. Collins was the proto-mystery author. While not as famous as The Woman in White, I think we get a glimpse of it here. The story follows a woman as she works to clear her husband's name in the case of the murder of his first wife. He was tried in a Scottish court of law and found 'Not Proven'; a sentence that sees him free of prison but with a blemish on his character. The novel is full of a delightful narrative, twists, turns, intrigue, and an interesting ending.
- Under Drake's Flag by G.A. Henty
I'm reading through a stack of books from my Granny. This is the first in that stack. It's a young adult historical adventure but I still enjoyed it. We follow the exploits of a young man as he sails with Sir Francis Drake.
- The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien
The second book in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Disliked the movie series; loved the book. (This is not my first time reading these)
- The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien
The last book in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Would recommend. Full disclosure, on this read I skipped all of the appendices.
- Functional Programming in C# by Oliver Sturm
An ok introduction to FP using C# (with smatterings of Haskell here and there). The author introduced his library and went through it while associating the terms back to LINQ as needed. While its good to settle on a 'proper' terminology, I suspect this book would have been more approachable if the 'evolution of C#' examples had been cut and if the author had relied solely on introducing FP ideas through existing LINQ terminology (extending and wrapping as appropriate).
- The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson
A cute story. It started out slightly tedious (in the "I can't believe the premise of this book" sense) but I stuck with it. It's charming and funny. Reminds me very much of Forrest Gump.
- Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Futuristic VR utopia amid dystopian reality. The book you'd get if you could channel Aldous Huxley to rewrite Charley and the Chocolate Factory. There are a lot of 80's pop culture references in here. I was fairly lost in that regard but I still enjoyed the book. Without, I hope, giving away anything, I would have pushed the button at the end before the person even finished their sentence.
- Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results by Stephen Guise
This book has some good tips for starting, and sticking with, new habits. Similar message to Transform your Habits by James Clear but more in-depth. I've used the outlined approach to make flossing a daily habit. Overall, the book is good but it repeats itself a fair bit. In fact, one could probably skip the first or second half of the book and be no worse for it... or pick up Transform your Habits for the abridged version.
- Fuck Goals, Just Go!: A two-step system for insane productivity by Frank Young
This book was ok. The author recommends a 4-list organizational system - Tasks, Errands, Correspondence, Subconcious - and then creating a new list each time you're 70% done. If you find yourself copying items to new lists repeatedly, figure out why you're blocked and then either drop the item or tackle the block. In a way, the system may be a Getting Things Done super-light edition. It's a bit too thin on examples, especially around what should go on the Subconcious (or For the Universe as he primarily refers to it) section. On the other hand, it might be a good spark for deciding how one might come up with their own tailored 'paper brain'.
- Take Me with You by Catherine Ryan Hyde
Three people thrust together in an unusual circumstance; a recovering alcoholic teacher on a summer trip and two young boys. This book touches on brokenness, reconciliation, and forgiveness backdropped by a vignette of human emotion. I found a lot to chew on when August (the teacher) and his AA sponsor talked about August's relationship with the boys and how they had to be on their own path.
- Getting Things Done by David Allen
This is the go-to book if you want to organize your life. It was a slog for me to get through, even though the material is well-thought out. It shows its age in quite a few places when discussing technical specifics, but the key concepts should be plenty easy to translate to your preferred tools (and there are a lot of them out there thanks to the book!). I'll be looking to adopt parts of the system I don't already have in place.
- The Martian by Andy Weir
A castaway story in space. The narrative is very well done. Everything sounds believable without getting mired in the overly-technical. Honestly, as a big fan of The Humanure Handbook by Joseph Jenkins, the attention to detail when discussing pathogens in poop sold me on the rest of the story.
- God Grew Tired of Us by John Bul Dau
This is an autobigraphical account of one of the Lost Boys of Sudan. The book is utterly heart-wrenching as we follow John's account of fleeing violence, constantly facing starvation and dehydration, losing everything, and burying friends. All before he'd even turned 14.
The last third or so focus on his life in America. While his views seem a bit jarring at times, it highlights the struggle that I think many immigrants have faced. What does it mean to be an American while also trying to retain your own history and culture.
As an aside, I had watched the documentary quite a while ago but I hadn't sat down with the book. They complement each other well and the documentary is worth making time for.
- I Will Teach You to be Rich by Ramit Sethi
This is a great and in-depth introductory guide to money. I think it'd be especially helpful to someone just starting out, like a millennial fresh out of college. I have to admit I didn't take away a lot from the book, but only because I manage my money in a very similar way to what Mr. Sethi outlines.
- Napoleon's Hemorrhoids: And Other Small Events That Changed History by Phil Mason
A good bathroom reader but perhaps not much more. Short stories about quirks and oddities throughout history. Promises to be a "what-if" book but only fulfills that by injecting phrases like "think of what might have been" liberally throughout.
- Dawn by Octavia E. Butler
Humanity barely saved by the brink of extinction following a nuclear exchange. This is a compelling, and terrifying, look at life with an alien species. The book is brilliant. It's disturbing. It's hard to wrap ones mind around fully. It deals with consent, power, autonomy, and ultimately, I think, with that core kernel of what makes us human.
- Cheat Sheet: Master Getting Things Done...In 2 Minutes edited by 2 Minute Insight
A very brief summary of Getting Things Done by David Allen. This would be a handy guide to keep around after reading Mr. Allen's book.
- The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
The story is riveting although I found the lead-in, the change almost overnight of the US to a theocracy to be rather unbelievable... although it does serve a critical part of the narrative as it allows the narrator to flip effortlessly between her two lives. In much the same way we can see that those at the top in the USSR used communism to benefit themselves and control the populace, we can glimpse into the world of Gilead in the book and see authoritarian control and theocratic structure in place to benefit those in power. The book is either a dire warning or simply a harrowing tale, depending on the reader's predilections.
- Raise the Bar: An Action-Based Method for Maximum Customer Reactions by Jon Taffer
While this focuses on the food service industry in general, and bars specifically, there's a lot of great information and ideas for anyone who's job it is to provide service to others (which, I think, is pretty much all of us). The book is engaging and thought-provoking.
- The Underachiever's Manifesto: The Guide to Accomplishing Little and Feeling Great by Ray Bennett
Tongue-in-cheek but also full of solid advice for getting further by aiming lower.
- The New New Thing: A Silicon Valley Story by Michael Lewis
Written in 1999, this biography of Jim Clark (founder of SGI, Netscape, and Healtheon), is an interesting, albeit very dated, look into the transformation of Silicon Valley. It was an enjoyable read in most parts and rather fascinating. A pessimistic reader will undoubtedly wonder why the dotcom meltdown took as long to happen as it did.
- Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing
A gripping telling of Shackleton's ill-fated third voyage. The entire story is engaging, edge-of-your-seat, stuff. It's fascinating to see how far humans can push themselves and how much they will endure just through will to survive.
- Angles of Attack by Marko Kloos
The third installment in the Frontlines series. The book was good. The story had some twists and turns and plenty of action to keep it interesting. It wasn't quite as good as the first two but still an enjoyable read.
- How To Be Happy: 12 Powerful Steps to Boost Your Confidence, Win Friends, and Live a Happier Life Now by David Kim
A quick guide on, essentially, living mindfully, focusing inwardly, and being content.
- World War Three 1946 - Book One - The Red Tide - Stalin Strikes First by Harry Kellogg
A very well researched fictional history of WWIII breaking out on the heels of Germany's defeat. The story is told through vignettes stitched together around the central narrative. I found it rather interesting and engaging albeit a little too narrowly focused for my taste. I know the format can be very dry for many, but I prefer the operational narrative in The War That Never Was. However, I am still looking forward to reading the next installments in this series.
- 23 Anti-Procrastination Habits: How to Stop Being Lazy and Get Results in Your Life by S.J. Scott
This book is a nice take on several organizational methods. It's definitely worth a read and probably worth keeping handy to reference from time to time.
- Wolf Hunt (Burning Ages book one) by Sebastian P. Breit
A time-travel book with an interesting premise and twist. I think Mr. Breit's book is good, although I only gave it two stars on Goodreads. He needs a good editor and needs to work on his character development more. The political views of his main characters felt forced; his female characters seemed fairly voiceless; and what could have been fairly interesting glimpses into the modern, integrated Navy personnel interacting with the 1940's structure were instead almost cartoonish backdrops that flew by. Still, I'll probably continue with the series and I look forward to where his work goes.
- Old Man's War (Old Man's War #1) by John Scalzi
A fast, fun read. Every time I thought I had the basic premise of the book down, it went in another direction. I wouldn't say I felt engaged or attached to the characters, but the development of the characters and the story were interesting and there was some great, poignant quotes in the book that were interesting to mull over.
- The Ghost Brigades (Old Man's War, #2) by John Scalzi
Scalzi's way with prose continues in the sequel to Old Man's War. This book focuses on a new 'recruit' in the Ghost Brigade and gives us a further look into life in the story's universe. I enjoyed how this touches on what it means to be human, identity of self, and framing some interesting thoughts around consciousness and morality. The fact that humans are shown as kind-of dickheads is refreshing as well. We're not the pure protagonists of the galaxy.
- The Man in the High Castle by Philip K Dick
Sci-Fi/alt history. This is my first forray into Philip K Dick's work. The story within a story was intriguing. The language in the book was illustrative but somewhat off-putting. The character development was sort of intriguing but I felt the female characters were rather flat and the other protagonists were hard to warm up to (possibly related to my not enjoying the stilted conversations). The ending was absolutely sublime, though.
- The Last Colony (Old Man's War #3) by John Scalzi
Plenty of twists and turns keep this book engaging from beginning to end.
- The Human Division (Old Man's War, #5) by John Scalzi
Here we leave the two protagonists from the first three books (I did purposely skip book #4 for now), and head further down the story line to see how events unfold between earth, the Colonial Union, and the Conclave. The book is a great set up but leaves a lot of plot open that, I hope, will start to be wrapped up in the upcoming book.
- The Money Mentor: A Tale of Finding Financial Freedom by Tad Crawford
A lesson wrapped in a novel, in the style of The Goal. Sound, basic advice on the world of personal finance and budgeting.
- Zoe's Tale (Old Man's War, #4) by John Scalzi
The story of book #3, The Last Colony, told from an alternate perspective. It clears up the deus ex machina plot point in the main story line. The telling is engaging and riveting even though the overall outcome is already known from the previous book.
- Incredible Victory: The Battle of Midway by Walter Lord
A decent telling of the Battle of Midway with in-action perspectives from both sides.
- Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of his Time by Dava Sobel
The enthralling, somewhat sad, history of how longitude came to be reliably determined at sea. Even ancient mariners knew about latitude, but it wasn't until the 18th century that navigators could determine their longitude. This is the story of how that came to be.
- Assault Troopers (Extinction Wars, #1) by Vaughn Heppner
Not a bad book, but not all that enthralling. Earth is annihilated by one alien race; the scant survivors enslaved to fight by another. Human gumption and the desire to be free plays out across the book. I'm going at least one more book into the series to see if the narrative turns into something more my style.
- Understanding 4 rules of simple design by Corey Haines
Short and to the point. This book provides some thought exercises and instructional coding around implementing the 4 Rules of Simple Design, originally codified by Kent Beck in the '90's. The book is good, and provides enough meat to chew on, but I do wish the book went a little more in-depth and I especially wish that it provided a thorough discussion on the final, end-to-end solution (at least on the author's solution as he evolved it through the book).
- Habit Stacking: 97 Small Life Changes That Take Five Minutes or Less by S.J. Scott
I like this book. It goes over building small habits into your day based around trigger points. A small habit is something that can't be expanded over time; it is, by it's very nature, something that can only ever take < 5 minutes. And then build those around something you're doing already. For example, right after you shower in the morning, floss your teeth. Flossing is a great example of a mini-habit. You're never going to do more floss reps like if you were working out.
- Planet Strike (Extinction Wars, #2) by Vaughn Heppner
I liked this book more than the first in the series. I'm still not sure if I'll keep with the series. The protagonist has sort of an oddly detached narrative that I find distracting.
- Starfire by B.V. Larson and Thomas LeMay
The pacing and story-telling for the first two-thirds of the book was well-done. This didn't feel like a sci-fi novel. Fantasy? Adventure? The last third of the book was rather unsatisfying. Russia and the US re-start the cold war. Race to Europa, one of Jupiter's moons, to plunder alien tech. Things go awry. The moral implications and discussions are scant and meatless.
- Lonely Vigil: Coastwatchers of the Solomons by Walter Lord
I didn't enjoy this book quite as much as his book on Midway, but it was still a good read. This book covers the coastwatchers that operated behind the Japanese lines during WWII. They were instrumental in the allies being able to capture and defend a critical airfield, rescuing downed pilots, and derailing the Tokyo Express.
- The Facts Of Life: As Taught by a Nine Year Old by Steffan Basdeo
A cute kid's book. Yes, I read it. No I'm not ashamed.
- AVIATRIX: First Woman Pilot for Hughes Airwest by Mary Shipko
An autobiographical peek into what one of the first female commercial airline pilots had to put up with during her career. Spoiler, she put up with a lot of shit. I didn't realize how recently it was that sexual harassment in the workplace was finally acknowledged. Definitely worth a read.
- Miracle at Midway by Gordon W. Prange
Walter Lord's book, Incredible Victory: The Battle of Midway, painted a tactical-level, man-on-the-scene, picture of the Battle of Midway. This wonderful book, in contrast, takes on more sweeping vistas and shows us the operational and strategic pictures. Don't skip either book but, if you only have time for one, pick up this one.
- Anon Short Stories: Random Posts From The Internet by J Camarena
A 'collection' of 4chan greentext, a couple Reddit posts, and an absolutely bizarre inclusion of some recounting of Silk Road. The editing is horrible; chopped-off stories, duplicated content, and the decision to devote half the book to something-or-other about Silk Road... utter trash. Avoid.
- Wool Omnibus Edition (Silo, #1; Wool, #1-5) by Hugh Howey
I really want to count this as 5 books for my reading goal... but I digress. A post-apocalyptic setting; humans forced to survive in an underground silo. This is is, at best, a soft sci-fi book. The reader will find virtually none of their questions answered about the tech or day-to-day operation of the silo or how it runs. The story is enjoyable, rather unique, and a great ramp-up to the series. From the 44th page on, every it's just a constant series of twists and punches to the gut.
- Shift (Silo, #2) by Hugh Howey
The second book in the Silo series. This is actually my favorite of the three. We learn about the world leading up to humanity fleeing to the silo, and much much more. Still soft sci-fi with what might be considered hand-waving in areas. However, the story is as well-crafted as ever.
- Dust (Silo, #3) by Hugh Howey
I was let down by this book in relation to book 2. Some of that just comes down to my dislike of one the character's and some of it comes back to the handwaving over the science. Still, it provided a satisfying enough conclusion to the storyline.
- The Perfect Business by Michael LeBoeuf
Holy dated material Batman. Ignoring all of the talk about fax machines and PDAs and shopping for your first computer, some of the content is decent. It feels like every other paragraph includes some pithy quote or anecdote from some authority figure. Stick to anything Amy Hoy writes instead.
- Christmas Jars by Jason F. Wright
A lesson about giving wrapped in a cute story. Who knows, you might be inspired to start funding your own Christmas Jar.
- ASP.Net Application Development Fundamentals by James Lombard
If you really, really want a super-basic intro to ASP.Net Web Forms (you don't) in 2015 (you don't), then this is a fine book for that (don't read this).
- How to Boost Self-Esteem: The proven self-esteem workbook to help low self esteem by Matt Collins
Poorly edited. However, the material seems to be useful.
- Other People's Dirt: A Housecleaner's Curious Adventures by Louise Rafkin
A fascinating glimpse into the life of someone who wanted to be a spy as a kid, graduated college with hopes of writing, and then decided to clean houses for a living. Louise offers stories from her life, cleaning anecdotes, and experiences from other cleaners. The book ends rather abruptly, like you feel there should be another chapter to tie everything up, but its an enjoyable read from start to finish.
- Minimalistic Living: How To Live In A Van And Get Off The Grid (RV Living, Minimalist Living, Off The Grid) by Mary Solomon
A beginner's guide to everything you might possibly want to know about, literally, living in a van down by the river.. or Wal-Mart parking lot.
- Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling
Ms. Kaling's autobigraphy, written pre-Mindy Project. Hilarious read.
- Understanding the Basics of Raspberry Pi: A User Guide to Using Raspberry Pi by Marlon Smith
Poorly edited. Repetitive and out of date.
- Speed Reading: Learn to Read Faster, Comprehend Better and Accelerate Your Life and Career (Speed Reading for Beginners) by Tiffani Wise
Some good fundamentals for speed-reading, such as killing your inner monologue, scanning and chunking.
- Triple Double Speed Reading: Double or Triple Your Reading Speed by Dennis Brooks
He has a 'system' that focuses on chunking via recognizing the shape of words. It's not something that I can see myself committing to or practicing but I did get some value from his approach on fencing words.
- The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz
Good war stories about life as a CEO of fast-growing, venture-backed startup. I think anyone in management at this type of company would do well to read this book as Mr. Horowitz does provide a lot of practical advice along with his stories. I even passed a recommendation on to my manager to read, even though we're the furthest thing from a fast-growing startup, because I thought the information on production management was also valuable.
- Marine Cadet (The Human Legion #1) by Tim C. Taylor
I finished this book but I just could not get into it. Marine cadet cast as unlikely hero of the human race, helped along by aliens who have foreseen his future; ok, sure. But the story just feels so haphazard
- Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain
I own three knives, a Global chef's knife, one of their pairing knife's, and a bread knife. So, I think, I was destined to like this book from the start. Mr. Bourdain recounts his experiences of breaking into the kitchen and his rise through the ranks. It includes some very honest and frank looks at where he made missteps in his career; the 'colorful' side of restaurants; and some practical advice for both those that love to cook and those that love to eat out.
- Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box by Arbinger Institute
Management advice wrapped in a narrative. The story is repetitive in its quest to drive points home. You won't find any backing depth in the form of history or philosophy behind their premise. There are no counterpoints, or, at best, the counterpoints they do present are set up as strawmen to knock down. In spite of that, I found the central idea of the book interesting, engaging and useful.
- The Secret Agent: In Search of America's Greatest World War II Spy by Stephan Talty
A quick and enjoyable read on the history of Eric Erickson; a second-generation American who made his fortune in the oil fields, only to willingly risk everything, including sacrificing his reputation and social circle, to infiltrate the highest echelons of Nazi Germany and spy on synthetic oil production in order to provide timely, and accurate, intel to America for bombing raids.
- Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
My first Agatha Christie book. I'm not sure if I did myself a disservice or not by picking what, I think, is one of her more famous works. I'm definitely hooked though. I enjoyed the narrative and, I have to admit, I didn't see the ending coming... not by a long shot.
- David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell
Another pop-psychology book from Mr. Gladwell. Interesting stories tenuously woven around a central theme. Some of the transitions are disjointed (here's how the Three Strikes law came to be in California... now lets tie that in with a Mennonite family that suffered the same tragedy in Canada so we can springboard to a pastor shielding Jews in Vichy France.) His hypothesis is never fully explored and he glosses over what could be effective counterpoints to his statements... but, it's still a fun and thought-provoking read.
- The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie
Agatha Christie's first novel, and our introduction to Hercule Poirot. Enjoyable, but her writing was not as crisp as Murder on the Orient Expression; hardly a surprise given that this was her first book!
- The Princess Bride by William Goldman
The movie is among my favorite, having been of the right age and temperament when I first watched it. The book doesn't fail to disappoint! Of course, I can't help but read and envision the characters exactly as they're portrayed on screen.
- Poirot Investigates (Hercule Poirot, #3) by Agatha Christie
- The Murder on the Links (Hercule Poirot, #2) by Agatha Christie
- The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (Hercule Poirot, #4) by Agatha Christie
- Cards on the Table (Hercule Poirot, #15) by Agatha Christie
- Peril at End House (Hercule Poirot, #8) by Agatha Christie
- Evil Under the Sun (Hercule Poirot, #23) by Agatha Christie
- Problem at Sea: A Short Story by Agatha Christie
- The Third-Floor Flat: A Short Story by Agatha Christie
- The Lemesurier Inheritance: A Short Story Agatha Christie
- The Mystery of the Baghdad Chest: A Short Story by Agatha Christie
- Wasps' Nest: Hercule Poirot by Agatha Christie
- The Incredible Theft: A Short Story by Agatha Christie
- Death on the Nile: A Short Short Story by Agatha Christie
- Appointment with Death (Hercule Poirot, #19) by Agatha Christie
- The Cornish Mystery by Agatha Christie
- The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni
- Double Sin: A Short Story by Agatha Christie
- The King of Clubs: A Short Story by Agatha Christie
- The Plymouth Express by Agatha Christie
- The Theft of the Royal Ruby: A Short Story by Agatha Christie
- The Dressmaker's Doll: A Short Story by Agatha Christie
- Greenshaw's Folly: A Short Story by Agatha Christie
- The Double Clue: A Short Story by Agatha Christie
- The Last Seance: A Short Story by Agatha Christie
- Sanctuary: A Short Story by Agatha Christie
- The Veiled Lady: Hercule Poirot Mystery by Agatha Christie
- Death in the Clouds (Hercule Poirot, #12) by Agatha Christie
- Dead Man's Folly (Hercule Poirot, #31) by Agatha Christie
- The Hollow (Hercule Poirot, #25) by Agatha Christie
- A Wrinkle in Time (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet, #1) by Madeleine L'Engle
- The Affair at the Victory Ball: A Short Story by Agatha Christie
- Clean Gut: The Breakthrough Plan for Eliminating the Root Cause of Disease and Revolutionizing Your Health by Alejandro Junger
- The End of All Things (Old Man's War, #6) by John Scalzi
- Pandora's Memories: A Usurper's War Short Story by James L. Young Jr.
- Acts of War (Usurper's War #2) by James L. Young Jr.
- The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli
- The Big Four (Hercule Poirot, #5) by Agatha Christie
- The Mystery of the Blue Train (Hercule Poirot, #6) by Agatha Christie
- The Internet Of Garbage by Sarah Jeong
- Mrs. McGinty's Dead (Hercule Poirot, #28) by Agatha Christie
- Elephants Can Remember (Hercule Poirot, #37) by Agatha Christie
- The Gentleman Dressed in Newspaper: A Short Story by Agatha Christie
- Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal by Eric Schlosser
- Black Coffee (Hercule Poirot, #7) by Charles Osborne
- The Clocks (Hercule Poirot, #34) by Agatha Christie
- Taken at the Flood (Hercule Poirot, #27) by Agatha Christie
- How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
- Defcon One by Joe Weber
- The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936-193 by Antony Beevor
- The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
- What Makes a Leader: Why Emotional Intelligence Matters by Daniel Goleman
- Mental Efficiency, And Other Hints To Men And Women by Arnold Bennett
- Tomorrow: Adventures in an Uncertain World by Bradley Trevor Greive
- In the Country of Last Things by Paul Auster
- Hack Sleep by Danny Flood
- The Regatta Mystery: A Short Story by Agatha Christie
- Crooked House by Agatha Christie
- Warship by Joshua Dalzelle
- The New Atlantis by Francis Bacon